Motherless Brooklyn (2019) - Crime, Drama, Mystery

Hohum Score



In 1950s New York, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend.

IMDB: 6.9
Director: Edward Norton
Stars: Edward Norton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Length: 144 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 52 out of 186 found boring (27.95%)

One-line Reviews (144)

Tedious Exercise .

I enjoyed it and recommend it .

The investigation within the film is incredibly drawn out and boring.

Norton was also able to cleverly execute a literary device, to quickly contrast the difficulty and constant un-predictability of being unfortunately plagued by Tourette's Syndrome, to the unpredictable and unexpected struggle and consequence of being an African American in today's society.

Motherless Brooklyn is an incredible Neo-noir that's unpredictable, engaging and despite it's period setting, timeless in it's themes.

Maybe sometimes a bit too much detail as it dragged a little bit.

An Extremely Tedious Passion Project .

The story was rather bland and boring, and could have easily been shortened and more clairvoyant.

Ultimately it was overlong and repetitive it could have been so much better with some editing and some more action.

Sure some may find it boring, slow, presumptuous even.

Way too long.

So boring .

Lionel's symptoms of Tourette's syndrome, repetitive verbalizations of a rhyming nature, were accepted equanimously by everyone he encountered.

The story is authentic looking with a nice noir style to it and everyone does a good acting job but it's a little slow in parts.

One of the worst movies I have ever seen .

Slow paced, Long 2 hours 25 min and Average storyline .

Overall, I enjoyed it, It is probably a great book!!

It's script is pretty generic, one of the twists was predictable and it has serious pacing problems.

If you can withstand the 2hrs 20 or so mins of being completely immersed in this film...

Despite everything and a bit of confusion, there is a huge potential in Norton's direction/writing (not to mentiong the impeccable acting) and this movie was the proof.

Very simple and predictable self loving Edward Norton's film.

One of just a handful of contemporary movies worth watching.

Edward Norton's passion project is worth watching for anyone who an intelligent audience.

and worth the watch.

Tough guys and clever women combined with secrets, empty clues, and false bunny trails can mesmerize me for hours.

It's actually impressive how well the atmosphere was built despite the bland script.

The movie is worth watching , and has got an engaging plot .

Screenwriter, Director, and Actor Edward Norton failed to make this an engaging crime thriller in the tradition of Roman Polanski's "Chinatown.

Slow, boring, and unrealistic .

I'd recommend it with a large cup of coffee to stay awake and not to fall asleep watching it.

This movie is so slow, so boring, with a terrible score and a heavy handed approach, and worst of all, unrealistic in the portrayal of the characters and how they talk and react, more than anything to the protagonist.

Great acting but some of the plot lines are predictable.

Stylistically good but predictable .

The slow pace, the jazzy music, that Film Noir ambiance, it's just not for me.

A tight and gripping movie .

The atmosphere of 50's New York and musical score was immensely evocative and comprehensively realised.

If you're into these sort of slow paced, intriguing films, than Motherless Brooklyn is for you.

Not much of a film noir, more of a boring political hit job.

A few good scenes here and there but it mostly dragged.

The only parts that seem complex or boring are the political scenes.

Although I tried and tried, it was really hard to shake the suspicion that Ed Norton was reprising his role of Brian from The Score, a ho-hum heist movie from the early 2000s.

But it is slow and if you're expecting something like Sin City or even the Untouchables, you might be disappointed.

This film is definitely a must watch movie for those who appreciate a quirky yet intriguing story-line.

Unfortunately, as stylish and beautiful the film is, its most certainly hampered by its long running length and somewhat dull passages.


A bit lengthy for a crime drama/who done it because there will be slower portions of the film.

Randolph has a genius brother, Paul (Willem Dafoe), whom he keeps on a short leash and on the edge of hope.

Heartfelt drama mystery but has boring political scenes .

It was great to see such a veteran cast of actors provide an entertaining story.

This is the worst movie you will ever see in the nature of movie making

Soooo boring.

The movie was painfully boring with hardly any story line and 2hours 35 mins long that felt like 4 hours.

Worst movie ever .

Really gripping .

This movie paralyzes you from the very beginning and, like any great detective story, keeps you on the edge of your seat looking for answers and thinking..

What was problematicThe narrative drive ran out of steam as so much of the labyrinthine plot had similar repetitive scenes, it was unvarying.

boring .

I appreciate the noir elements and the call back to NYC during the 50's but it gets boring and confusing after a while and you find yourself wanting a way out of Motherless Brooklyn.

The story is decent but not great, and it's very predictable at certain points.

Good acting, confusing story and sketchy directing made this potential good film into a disaster.

Every detail is compelling and natural, so we have the feeling that we are immersed in this world, with its lights and darkness, with racial inequalities and social injustices, with coin phones and with the fog engulfing the bridges connecting Manhattan to the rest of the city, with nightclubs and the ubiquitous smoke of cigarettes.

But Norton has done a superior job of creating a fascinating, highly dramatic work about actual history, drama, characters, politics and passion.

Robert Moses/Moses Randolph or whoever wears their snappy shoes would love it.

The story is somewhat confusing so you had better pay attention.

He even seems to sabotage his suspenseful moments by being repetitive in situations while his vintage autos convey an artificial look with their with showroom glow still in tact as they tool around Queens and Brooklyn.

While it can be difficult to follow at times, it's still quite a fantastic movie.

With no tension, no score, a slow pace, a PG-13 script taking away realism from the characters and their reactions and dialogues, and failed and intermittent attempts of comedy, this is a failure in every sense.

Too long and predictable .

There are so many unnecessary scenes that only dragged the pacing of the film and which didn't contribute to anything.

These and other logic questions kept popping up in my mind as the film wore on and took me away from engaging more with the story.

Somewhat engaging .

Wilhelm DaFoe playing his brother is a hammy crank while the rest of the cast looks dull, acts depressed.

Ive gotten more enjoyment out of watching episodes on monk than this dull overlong film Norton talked about how unique this character was no he isn't he just has Tourettes take that away hes nothing thats all there is to this character hes boring like the story that this is based off you wanna know the big reveal the black woman is the daughter of alec baldwin not wilem dafoe big surprise more like big waste of time stuff this film watch monk instead I just started watching season 1 and hes more likeable than any character in this entire film

Norton's film seem far too long, his character's malady was honesty distracting and unfortunately most of the characters were remarkably familiar.

Although flawlesly acted and despite a stellar cast, the movie seems somewhat disjointed, disconnected and flat.

The story is compelling trying to work out what the death of a private detective has to do with a property magnate.

A Calm, Engaging Mystery .

But it's certainly engaging.

Too long and boring movie .

Authentic Looking Slow Noir .

And although this works tremendously on the page, Norton argued (correctly, I think) that to try to replicate this on film - have the story set in 2019 (or even 1999), but told in the manner of a classic noir - wouldn't work, as it would send mixed and confusing messages to the audience.

There are worse ways to waste your time.

Instead of doing pointless exposition, the film could've given more development to the relationship between Norton's and Willis' character.

Yawn fest .

Beyond that the film has a bit of a made-for-television feel to it; cheap, plasticy, with boring camera angles and paint-by-numbers lighting.

In fact I'd argue the music is the film's biggest saving grace, and it's worth watching for that alone.

Worth Watching .

It's worth seeing, but as I said, "maybe", only because it's a slow burn and could've been accelerated in spots.


The cast were steller, it was gripping throughout.

Cliche .

The bland nature of the plot does not aid the film's problem solving.

A very entertaining film and please don't be emo like me and cry after the opening scene.

The investigation feels like a waste of time, especially when a lot of the core questions are answered relatively easily.

Great acting, lovely jazz and a slow pace that grows on you.

While it suffers from a fairly cliche plot template, this film looks great and has a nice style that modernizes the noir genre while maintaining the usual time period.

For me one of the most compelling scenes was between Lionel and Trumpet Man (Michael Kenneth Williams).

The whole ending to do with Paul and Moses is very confusing and I got lost along the way.

For instance, a few early scenes in the Minna Detective Agency office were confusing, and I found myself questioning how the agency made any money, had pleasantly nice offices, and everybody in the office seemed flush, not struggling.

BORING Another actor doing Dustin Hoffman .

I wanted to leave half way through.

Creative, Suspenseful .

Motherless Brooklyn has problem with flat uninteresting characters and dialogue as well as a pace that moves incredibly slow you at times feel like your watching a 3 hours movie rather than a 2 hour 20 minute film.

Its a well shot movie but quite boring and long .

'Homeless Brooklyn' is highly entertaining, although a mishmash of themes that are loose threads of a sprawling story, albeit well told.

His character was very likable and entertaining.

His repetitive touching of people on the shoulder as he faced them ought to have caused women to back away and men to knock his block off.

The biggest issue of the film is that it's way too long.

Waste of time and a source of irritation.

the wildly talented Ed Norton, who delivered a gritty, suspenseful noir, a well-developed character portrayal, a thoughtful, deliberatively-paced adapted tough topic screen-play.

The film is long, slow pace, looks old.....

First of all, any movie with a jazz score is worth the watch...

I'm a big Edward Norton fan but this movie was a snoozer.

Overly long led to viewer exhaustion, of the 50 people in my viewing 20 had walked out by the 80 minute marker.

However if the slow, moody old style detective genre is your thing you will love this.

Plodding and thoughtful without ever being boring, and what a performance by Ed Norton as the tourettes afflicted gumshoe.

During an intense scene with a bad guy, you don't see him doing that which makes you question the character a bit.


Some may critique it as being a slow burn, of a story that we have heard a thousand times already.

The storyline is boring as hell.

Liked the classic noir vibes of the movie.. storyline reminded me of 90's movie productions (it's set in the 50's though) so it was kinda predictable and at some points slow.

I really enjoyed it.

His acting performance is remarkable, but there are plenty of other reasons that make 'Motherless Brooklyn' one of the most exciting films of a season among the best in the last decade.

Thanks to the slow pace, as a viewer you can discover more clues and hints yourself.

As a photographer I thought the cinematography was stunning in color and composition, less film noir and more '50's style New York street Kodachrome photography with compositions of odd reflections and angles interspersed smoothly with the flow of the narrative master shots in a style similar to Winogrand and Vivian Maier.

extremely slow .

Dull, uninteresting.

In other words, the movie runs far too long (2 1/2 hrs, maybe 40-45 min.

But boy, could it use an injection of adrenaline, humor, heightened drama, improved soundtrack and less forced woke messaging.

I hope you find it entertaining more than me.

The novel was exciting, interesting, unique and fun to read.

Reading the reviews, I was surprised at so many of those who spoke of it as being long and boring.

Pointless .

really boring and slow with a lot of scenes that have absolutely nothing to do with the story.

I fell asleep halfway and I'm glad I did, It was not worth my time

Enjoy falling asleep or going to the bathroom or getting popcorn.

Average At Best, And Far Too Long .

Motherless Brooklyn takes a while to get going and while its slowly paced, the plot thickens and after I settled in, I was caught up in it.

Acting (top notch, without excluding anyone at all), score, delicate thrilling effect, subtle depiction of power's brutality.

I thought it was slow and boring.

immersed in the 50s .

It also moves at a snail's pace, and Norton is never really able to generate any sense of urgency, making the whole thing feel laborious, and, ultimately, rather pointless.

Entertaining and Relevant .

Storywise it's all very confusing.